Seal Racing

The greatest childhood chants and games are often based upon real life events and environments. Ring-a-Ring-a-Roses' genesis in the years of the European Plague is well known; less known about is the English chair shortage of 1673 that gave us Musical Chairs.
But, one of the the best strange games inspired by it's environment is the Inuit game of Seal Racing. All players lie stomach down on the floor, then they raise their upper bodies off the ground by placing their hands under their chest and extending their arms. They should now resemble a seal (or be in the Cobra position if you are familiar with yoga). Now, maintaining this position and using only their arms to propel themselves, players race each other to the finishing line. It's not till you've tried it that you realise how much upper body strength you need to be successful at Seal Racing.
Probably best played indoors on a smooth floor, or on ice if you want authenticity, but also good on the beach, Seal Racing deserves to be played much more widely outside of the Arctic Circle.

strange games no:133
The attached photo shows a young Herbert Rowsell, concerned about trailing, in a game at Formby Sand Dunes

No comments: